More of the long-awaited Boley International/Navistar
releases have reached the hobby stores, among which is the Crew-Cab
Fire Truck. The prototype of this truck is not specified, but it is representational
of a pumper on a modified commercial truck chassis. The prototype would be considered in three sections: the cab, the pump housing, and the utility body.
The model cab follows typical prototype practice,
with a second set of doors added behind the front doors, with seating
for additional firefighters. The
Boley model interior contains four light gray or white bucket seats. Some prototypes would gain additional seating space by using
a bench seat in the rear, or in both positions. Detailing on the cab is good, with a light bar featuring red
and blue sections. Catalog illustrations show red/red on some colors of trucks. The biggest disappointment on the truck is still the exterior
mirrors, which are crude in comparison to the rest of the truck. Given that the "toy" market will probably be the largest segment
of purchasers of these models, the heaviness is understandable, BUT
a modeler or serious collector will want to replace these parts with
finer moldings from Promotex or photo-etchings from Plano.
The pump housing is integrated with the rear body
on the Boley model, and the driver side shows a good representation
of the pump control panel. There
is one silver circle which might represent a lid covering an inlet for
incoming water. The curbside
of the pump housing shows one small and two large covers for outlet
hose mounting. Atop the pump
housing is a fair representation of a water cannon, which can provide
intense streams of water if needed. On the running board on each side is a representation of folded
large-diameter hose with fitting.
The rear body section is also quite well detailed.
Two lengths of hard-suction hose are racked at the top of the driver
side, with smaller hose folded and strapped below. Two cabinets with D-ring slamlocks are represented ahead and
behind the rear wheel. Curbside,
two similar cabinets are represented below two "pop-truck" style equipment
cabinets. Atop the body, four
trays of standard hose are shown in their channels, plus a two-section
extension ladder. On the footboard
in back, two yellow fire extinguishers provide accents to the rear aspect,
along with top-mounted individual light bars about 30 inches wide, with
red or blue lenses mirroring the light bar on the cab roof.
The chassis is typically representational with silver
paint on the drive shaft and exhaust pipe. Wheels and tires are the same as those used on the earlier cement-truck
The all-red truck is traditionally attractive, as
is the red with white above the belt line on the cab. Other colors are offered as well, including white with two red
stripes which is also very striking. All-yellow is mentioned in sales brochures, as is solid orange. Combinations of green/silver and black/silver are also mentioned,
but those are not exactly typical prototype fire truck color schemes.
Modelers might wish to take the plastic sheen off
the tires with a coat of flat paint in a grey/black or brown/black tone
and perhaps add some Preiser firefighters to the inside of the cab. License plates would also add realism.
In all, considering that the bulk of these will be
likely be sold to the same kids who run their Hot Wheels into the legs
of the dining room table for fun, we doubtless should be grateful that
they are as good as they are. At
a retail price of $9.99 each, they're a nice addition to either your
collection or your train layout.